Ukraine war: The deadly landmines killing hundreds
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of BBC News
Posted: June 18th, 2023
Across Ukraine's vast expanse, there are thought to be 174,000 square kilometres which are contaminated by landmines. It is an area of land larger than England, Wales and Northern Ireland combined. In the war-scarred Kharkiv region, warning signs occasionally appear next to brown, barren fields which were once front lines. Even more infrequent is the sight of demining teams sweeping their metal detectors across small, taped-off areas. A literal scratching of the surface. More landmines have been found in the Kharkiv region than anywhere else in Ukraine. The Russians deployed landmines to both defend their positions and slow the Ukrainians. After leaving in a rush, a lethal footprint was left behind. In the small town of Balakliya, on a patch of land next to an apartment block, Oleksandr Remenets' team have already found six anti-personnel mines. They'd earlier uncovered around 200 nearby. "My family calls me every morning to tell me to watch where I tread," he says. "One of our guys lost his foot last year." The day after we spoke, another member of his team was wounded by a mine. Since September, 121 civilians have been injured in the Kharkiv region alone, according to the State Emergency Service. 29 were killed. More than 55,000 explosives have been found in the area. So-called butterfly mines [are] the most common in the area. They're only three to four inches wide, propeller shaped, and are scattered from a rocket. They're banned by international law. That hasn't stopped them from being used in this war.
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